A Note On Novellas


 I recently had my novella published, and,  I’ll tell you who has noticed, novella writers. I’ve had a lot of writers come up to me and say, since your novella came out I’ve thought about 1) starting a novella 2) cutting my novel down to a novella 3) submitting my already written novella. I’ve lost count how many people have said this. It’s in the tens, and I don’t talk to a lot of people (read: strange introverted writer). I’m not surprised, are you? Have you heard people baulk at the size of The Luminaries? Readers want to read it, but they just don’t have the time. What they do have time for, and devour, are novellas and flashers. What’s the difference between reading one or two novellas and The Luminaries I hear you ask? The ending. Readers want to get to the end and feel the whole story. I will say that all of the readers who have said this to me are writers, and writers love to read (they’re possibly propping up the industry-happy to be wrong about that) but they have no time to do so. They’re all busy promoting their work, aren’t they. It’s hard work to find a home for your book, especially when everyone is doing it; writers spew forth from the underground network of new subdivisions like ninjas, and we’re all figuring out how we got there by writing it down, and then we want to get it published. That’s what we’re up against writers. (Here’s a tip to gain the advantage: edit, or have someone do so for you.) Can I waste your time and get excited for a second? How cool is the e-book industry? How accessible and immediate and engaging with the current world of readers looking for short works (read novellas) to devour. I hear people bagging the e-book industry like weevils in my ear, but it’s super astronomical: want it? Download it. Got it. And that’s how long it takes to get it. How much? Not much: four or five dollars, usually. What the? I want me some of that industry. Perhaps it’s evolved out of the rise of complexity in this publishing industry that squeezes till it pops, and out squirts new options from new doors. Who knows? But options have opened up all over the place. There really is an abundance of small publishers asking for smaller work, and they’re catering to the needs of readers and writers. Can I list some for you? Seizure; HologramSpineless Wonders; HarperTeen ImpulseNovellaT. Oh look, I haven’t got time to create links for you, there’s a whole list here have a looky yourself. I’m off now to read The Luminaries, and The Sea The Sea, and Infinite Jest and Underworld. Stop laughing; I am: click here  Novella spots.  Go to it Novella writers. Get your novella on.

5 thoughts on “A Note On Novellas

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  1. Is there a cut off point when a novella becomes a novel?…and I started The Luminaries after really liking The Rehearsal but it never went anywhere and I gave up. Way too long. Don’t let that put you off!


  2. Hmm, that question about length is a tricky one. It’s a funny thing, I will happily read novellas (you know that, I reviewed yours quick smart, didn’t I?) but I just can’t make myself get interested in short stories. I don’t know what it is for other readers, but I’m interested in character development and it’s very rare in short stories.
    But a nifty novella, that’s a different thing altogether. Not on eBooks though, I like the feel of a real book in my hand, especially reading in bed.
    cheers, Lo-tech Lisa


  3. Yes you did read it quick smart Lisa! I tend to enjoy longer work more too, like the feeling that we’re in for a journey, although, I have read some great shorts from Spineless Wonders lately that are fascinating vignettes of lives, moments in time. Hope we catch up at Bendigo, Lisa.



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